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(MNI) Washington

U.S. employers added 431,000 jobs in March, the Department of Labor said Friday, under market expectations (490,000), but the 11th straight monthly increase over 400k.

The unemployment rate dropped two tenths to 3.6% and average hourly earnings rose 13 cents from February, and were up 5.6% from a year earlier, above expectations. The average workweek fell 0.1 hours to 34.6. The report also showed increased labor supply as the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 62.4% from 62.3% and employment-to-population ratio increased 0.2% to 60.1%.

The jobs report should support the Fed's resolve to raise the fed funds rate "expeditiously" this year. A study by St. Louis Fed economist Max Dvorkin had pointed to a modestly above-trend report in March. The official reading for the household survey employment measure was +736k in March, the twenty-third straight monthly increase.

The Black unemployment rate fell to 6.2% from 6.6% (vs 6.0% pre-pandemic), the White rate fell to 3.2% from 3.3% (vs 3.0% pre-pandemic), the Asian rate fell to 2.8% from 3.1% (vs 2.5% pre-pandemic), and the Hispanic/Latino rate also fell to 4.2% from 4.4% (vs 4.4% pre-pandemic).

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 | evan.ryser@marketnews.com
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 | evan.ryser@marketnews.com

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